Turner Bequest CCLXXX 143
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXX 143’ bottom right
Was it not dropt from heaven? Not a grove,
Citron or pine or cedar, not a grot
Sea-worn and mantled with the gadding vine,
But breathes enchantment. Not a cliff but flings
On the clear wave some image of delight,
Some cabin-roof glowing with crimson flowers,
Some ruined temple or fallen monument,
To muse on as the bark is gliding by.
Turner’s view of the Bay echoes the idyllic scene described above. The thin plume of smoke that emerges from the peak of Vesuvius alludes to its destructive potential without marring the carefree and exuberant mood of this light-filled scene. Although Vesuvius is most famous for destroying the Roman city of Pompeii in 79 AD, it was also unusually active in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, erupting six times in the eighteenth century and again in 1822, less than a decade before the publication of Rogers’s Italy.
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXX–143’ lower centre
How to cite
Meredith Gamer, ‘Bay of Naples, for Rogers’s ‘Italy’ c.1826–7 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2006, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www